Kherson remains part of Russia, despite withdrawal – Kremlin

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The region’s legal status remains unchanged, says Dmitry Peskov as Russian forces redeploy across the Dnieper River

The withdrawal of Russian forces from Kherson has no effect on the legal status of the region, Moscow insists, as it was officially incorporated into Russia last month after a public referendum.

Speaking to journalists on Friday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that “Kherson Region remains part of the Russian Federation, and this status is legally fixed and defined, and there can be no changes to this status.”

His comments come after the Defense Ministry announced that Russian forces had completed their redeployment to the left bank of the Dnieper River on Friday without suffering any loss of personnel, weapons, or vehicles.

The ministry also noted that all residents who wished to leave were also provided with assistance and safely made it across the river despite attempts by Kiev’s forces to disrupt the movement of civilians with artillery fire.

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Earlier this week, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered Russian forces to withdraw from the provincial capital of Kherson in order to avoid unnecessary deaths and to take up a stronger defensive position. The decision, which was described as “difficult” by military officials, has left the city exposed to capture by Kiev’s troops.

Kherson Region officially became a part of Russia last month, together with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as Zaporozhye Region after a referendum. Kiev called the vote a “sham” and has pledged to keep fighting until all land that it considers to be rightfully Ukrainian is taken.

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